Buying a Used Plane
Here, we are going to take a look at everything involved in buying a used plane: whether you should actually buy a plane or rent one instead, additional costs of buying a plane such as insurance, and specific types of planes and how to know which one is best for your aviation needs.
If you are an aviation enthusiast with a pilot's license and you are in the market to buy or sell a used airplane or aircraft parts, then look no further - Want Ad Digest is the Northeast's ideal aviation center.
Used airplanes are undeniably cheaper than new, and are not necessarily unsafe, either. In fact, the average general aviation airplane is over 20 years old. It should go without saying that when you are in the air you need every single piece of equipment to be operating at 100% capacity, because anything less than that could be fatal. Indeed, when buying a used airplane online you absolutely must go to the most qualified dealers and sellers to ensure that you will love - and be safe in - the aircraft of your choice.
To begin with, if you are interested in the aviation world and wish to become more acquainted with with an airplane, you should take into consideration if buying a used airplane or renting a plane would be more suitable for you. Sometimes people partner up to share a large purchase such as an airplane - we do not recommend that you do this. Often times, people do not want to take care of and maintain something that they do not fully own. Therefore, if you cannot own it yourself you may not want to go forward with the purchase of a used airplane.
Renting an airplane could be another option. You can rent planes through clubs or organizations. A good rule of thumb to go by is that if you fly less than 100 to 125 hours a year you will probably want to go with renting a plane over buying. Although, owning gives you the pride of ownership, more freedom with regard to flight times, and increased control over the keep-up of the plane. If owning an airplane is the route you are certain you want to take, the next step is to bear in mind all of the additional costs of owning an airplane, besides that initial first purchase. It is a good idea to consider how much your airplane is going to cost you each year.
Apart from the purchase of the airplane, you may be looking at principal and interest on a loan. Insurance is another cost to factor into your airplane. Prices for insurance range from $700 to $2000 a year for a small, inexpensive plane. There are two main types of insurance for airplanes: liability and hull. Liability insurance, which is required in certain states, protects your assets against claims arising from an aerial accident. Hull insurance, on the other hand, covers physical damage to your aircraft.
In addition to potential loans and insurance when buying a used aircraft, storage is another factor to take into consideration - where are you going to store your plane? Storage options range from grass tie downs to heated hangars. Grass tie-downs are, not surprisingly, less expensive than hangars and can range from $50 a month to $150. Hangars provide protection from weather elements and vandalism. Some hangars are two walls with a roof, administering limited protection, and some are completely enclosed and can even be heated, but they do of course cost more.
Similar to an automobile, when you own an airplane you are going to need an annual inspection to determine safety, and this can cost from $500 to $1000 for a small plane. Inevitably, when you own any aircraft there are going to be certain maintenance costs over time to factor in, as well as of course, fuel. To sum up then, when you are looking through Want Ad Digest's used airplanes for sale, please do take into account the following additional expenses when owning aircraft: loans, insurance, storage, maintenance, potential repairs, and fuel.
When you are confident that you have the right budget for you and you are going to stick to it, the next step is figuring out what kind of used airplane for sale you are going to look into. Here are some questions to ask yourself: How do you plan on using the plane? Are you interested in acrobatics or sightseeing? Are you planning on short or long distance trips? Multiple communication radios are helpful for longer flights if traveling far is what you desire. How many passengers are you planning on carrying? How will the seating arrangements work for you - would tandem or side-by-side be better? Tandem may be faster and will allow the pilot increased visibility and legroom, while side-by-side seating makes communication between riders easier. What type of airstrips will you land your used plane on? Will the plane be able to land at your local airport? Typical airports have 3,000 to 4,000 feet runaways, but local strips may be smaller.
Also, will you be flying in congested airspace? Do you think that low wing or high wing would be better suited for you? Generally, low wing airplanes have better visibility for flying in a space with several other airplanes, while high wing would be better for sightseeing. Take into consideration the cruise speed - how fast do you need to travel? The cruise speed is calculated by the speed at 75% power. How are your needs and interests going to grow and change within the next five years?
One more question to ask yourself when looking at used planes for sale is if antiques and classics appeal more to you. Classic planes usually refer to planes built between 1945 and 1955; antique planes are typically considered to be those built prior to 1945. Older planes are popular at air shows, if this is something that you may be interested in. However, purchasing an older used plane does mean that it may be more difficult for you to find replacement parts.
Once you have narrowed down your budget and what your distinct aviation interests are, you are ready to take a look at different models of used planes for sale. Here is a list of different kinds of aircraft so that you can narrow down what you are looking for:
Gliders: Use wind for air lift, like birds, and can soar quite extensive areas. The world's first successful airplanes were gliders - it is what the Wright Brothers started out with.
Single engine pistons: Has one piston engine - this is a very common type of plane for general aviation.
Twin pistons: Suitable for short-distance flights, seating capacity ranges from 3 to 8 passengers.
Multiengine piston: Has two or more piston engines using propellers to operate the airplane. Many airplanes have two or more engines (which is something you may want if flying over water or mountains); however, because of the increasing reliability of today's turbine engines, a growing number only use one turboprop engine.
Biplanes: Very common prior to World War II, and continue to be popular today among stunt and agriculture enthusiasts. These planes have two main wings.
Tricycle gear: After World War II, the airplane industry began to make extensive use of this design which put two main landing gears a bit further back on the airplane under the wing, with a steerable nosewheel in front. Tricycle gear planes are easier to operate than taildraggers, and they have three wheels, similar to a tricycle.
Taildraggers: When on the ground these airplanes will sit with their tails very close to the land. They excel at flying from simple dirt or grass strips, although they are more difficult to operate, take off, and land. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) insists that pilots who wish to fly these airplanes get special training from an FAA certified flight instructor.
Turboprops: Wide range of aircraft appropriate for short and medium distance flights (up to two to four hours), with a seating capacity that ranges from 4 to 78. These airplanes use a gas turbine jet engine to control blades of a common propeller. Turboprops combine the dependability of a jet engine with the short take off and landing abilities of a propeller-driven plane.
Tiltrotors: Integrate the vertical take off, hover, and landing potential of a helicopter with the forward speed of a turboprop.
Executive or business jet: The most time efficient way of traveling, suitable for medium or long distance flights, seats 4 to 16. Executive jets can handle tens of thousands of parts, customers, and mid-level employees for companies of all sizes.
Airliners: Large jet aircraft for any kind of flight, seating capacity is 50 to 400.
Cargo aircraft: Any type of cargo, including those that can handle large volumes of goods.
Gyroplanes: Can take off and land in very short distances; these planes are less complex and less costly than a helicopter, which can also take off and land in brief distances.
Kitbuilts or homebuilts: These planes are built at home by serious aviation enthusiasts. It is possible to safely do so today under exact FAA guidelines and inspections. Homebuilts can actually be quite involved and impressive.
Floatplanes/seaplanes: Have either floats instead of wheeled-landing gear, or their hull is shaped like that of a boat, permitting them to take off from water or land. These planes are useful to fishermen wishing to reach remote lakes.
Amphibians: Like floatplanes, except they are also equipped with retractable wheels for paved runways or strips.
Other types of aircraft besides planes and jets:
Helicopters: Convenient, easy way to access secluded areas, perfect for emergency situations.
Ultralights: Simple, fun, lightweight aircraft, including hang gliders, powered parachutes, and hot air balloons.
Now that you have figured out a budget and the type of aircraft that is best suited for you, you are ready to go look at the plane in person before making your purchase. As with buying a used automobile online, when buying a used airplane online you are going to want to see what you are purchasing in person.
Ask the seller the following: date of the last annual inspection, when the last avionics check was, and damage history, both major and minor. When seeing the airplane keep a look out for rust, dents, paint consistency, and parts that may be worn. If the paint is inconsistent and/or cracked it may indicate replacements. Note the manufacturer and the size of the plane - Continental and Lycoming are the most typical and therefore are less expensive to find replacement parts for.
Walk around the plane to see if it looks level. How has the plane been stored? Has it sat under snow or baked under the sun, or was it stored in a hangar? When inside, get a general feel of the interior. How well do the door close? Does it have an emergency locator transmitter? Are there log books? If so, what is the regularity of flights, repairs, and inspections? Finally, you are probably going to want to have a mechanic inspect the plane in addition to yourself before purchasing.
At Want Ad Digest, in addition to featuring used planes and aircraft for sale, we also have used aviation equipment available. Aviation equipment can include the following: aircraft engine/parts, aircraft belt loaders, aircraft bodies, aircraft brakes, aircraft dusting equipment, flight simulators, ground support equipment, aircraft landing gear, propellers, or aviation headsets.
Below please find some helpful links to assist you with your journey of buying a used airplane or airplane parts: